PARTY AT THE VORTEX
The Vortex does NOT take reservations, and does not offer the option to host PRIVATE PARTIES on our premises during our normal Hours of Operation. –– But, for an *exorbitant amount of money we may agree to DISPLACE our regular customers, and close down a venue, in order to offer a “Buy-Out” of the premises.
*ex·or·bi·tant (igˈzôrbitənt) Adjective: going far beyond what is reasonable or expected: too high, expensive, etc. Synonyms: extortionate, prohibitive, outrageous, pricy, steep, extreme, over the top.
DEFINING A BUY-OUT
To clarify, a “Private Event Buy-Out” (or “Buy-Out”) is NOT a reservation of tables within the restaurant, NOR is it a privately catered party. It is simply the process by which a corporate entity, or wealthy individual, can compensate The Vortex for closing the venue to the general public, so that their invited guests can enjoy The Vortex Experience in a PRIVATE setting. Other than that, there will be very little deviation from standard operational practices. The floor layout (tables, chairs, booths) will remain unchanged. Service will be performed by a regular staff of Vortex employees, and the food and beverage selection will be what is normally found within The Vortex Food & Booze Menus.
● KEEP READING FOR MORE DETAILS
So, if you have exceptionally deep pockets, and a Private Event Buy-Out of The Vortex sounds like exactly what you’re looking for, please familiarize yourself with the guidelines explained here. Doing so will help assure that any future correspondence on the matter will be as productive as possible.
There are two (2) distinct options available for a Private Event Buy-Out. Each option is briefly described below. To clarify, there is no such thing as a “Partial Buy-Out” (where only a certain SECTION of the restaurant is made available for a Buy-Out), because that would technically be a “reservation,” and The Vortex does NOT take reservations.
● OPTION #1 – EXCLUSIVE USE – FULL DAY
Buy-Out Option #1 is when the ENTIRE venue remains completely CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC for a FULL business day. This would be the more expensive of the two Buy-Out options, as The Vortex would be forgoing all opportunity to generate revenue from the premises for the ENTIRE day of the scheduled Buy-Out. NOTE: Our posted Hours of Operation will generally be used as parameters for the Buy-Out availability timeframe, but variations may be made by request, if necessary (i.e., starting earlier or staying later).
● OPTION #2 – EXCLUSIVE USE – PARTIAL DAY
Buy-Out Option #2 is when the ENTIRE venue remains CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC for the morning half of a business day OR for the evening half of a business day. This would be the less expensive of the two Buy-Out options, as The Vortex would be able to generate a percentage of its standard revenue, either before or after the scheduled Buy-Out. Ample time for re-setting the venue for service after a MORNING Buy-Out, and for vacating other patrons from the premises before an EVENING Buy-Out, will be included in the respective schedule and price. NOTE: If the remaining time available (before or after) a proposed Buy-Out is not sufficient for The Vortex to be open (or to re-open) to the public, then Buy-Out Option #1 must be utilized.
BOTH LOCATIONS AVAILABLE
Either one of the two Vortex locations (or both locations, simultaneously or consecutively) can be made available for a Private Event Buy-Out. Various technical and physical specifications regarding each of the two venues are listed below for informational purposes.
● THE VORTEX-MIDTOWN
The Vortex-Midtown is the larger of the two locations, so it can better accommodate larger groups. The total number of seats (at tables) inside, on the main floor of The Vortex-Midtown, is approximately 130. There are also approximately 30 stools at the bar, making a total of approximately 160 seats available inside the main premises.
• OPEN PATIO DINING/SMOKING AREA: On the sidewalk directly in front of The Vortex-Midtown is (an uncovered) dining patio. The total number of seats (at tables) on this patio is approximately 36. Smoking and alcohol consumption are both legally permitted on this patio.
• NO DESIGNATED PARKING: The Vortex-Midtown does not own, lease or maintain any parking facility for this venue, but there are ample “Pay-to-Park” style parking lots and decks available throughout the neighborhood. There is also metered and non-metered parking on the streets. The Vortex-Midtown is also easily accessible by commuter rail via the Midtown Transit Station, which is 0.3 miles (2.5 blocks) away from the venue, making for an easy 7 minute walk (approximately).
• COMEDY CLUB: The Laughing Skull Lounge comedy club is located within the premises of The Vortex-Midtown. In certain instances (generally during the day), The Vortex may be able to offer this adjacent Lounge for a Private Event Buy-Out, or as PART of a Buy-Out. When this venue is set-up as a comedy club, there are approximately 80 seats available on the main floor. The chairs and other movable assets of the Lounge may potentially be rearranged to the specifications of a Buy-Out event organizer. NOTE: The Lounge will generally NOT be available for use during its standard schedule of shows, but everything’s negotiable.
● THE VORTEX-LITTLE 5 POINTS
The Vortex-L5P is the smaller of the two locations, so it would generally be a better option for smaller groups. The total number of seats (at tables) on the main floor of The Vortex-L5P is approximately 63. There are also approximately 13 stools at the bar, making a total of approximately 73 seats available inside the main premises.
• COVERED PATIO DINING AREA: On north side of The Vortex-L5P is a separate covered, conditioned dining patio. The total number of seats (at tables) on this patio is approximately 44.
• OPEN PATIO SMOKING AREA: Just outside the bar is a fenced, open-air smoking patio. There is a bench that is just over 10′ long on one side. Smoking and alcohol consumption are both legally permitted on this patio.
• DESIGNATED PARKING: There is a parking lot adjacent to The Vortex-L5P. Any space in this lot designated with a “Vortex Parking” sign will be available to guests of the Buy-Out event. All the other spots in this lot are also available, but on weekends and certain holidays, there may be a (per car) charge to utilize those spaces. Other parking lots are also available throughout Little 5 Points, and there is metered and non-metered parking on the streets.
There are several distinct and separate fees that will be incurred when implementing either of our Buy-Out options. The details regarding these fees are further explained below. More clarification on these topics will be made during negotiations, and within signed contracts should a proposed Private Event Buy-Out become an actual Buy-out event.
● BUY-OUT RENTAL FEE
This is the main fee required to displace the regular clientele of The Vortex and close the premises to the general public in order to facilitate a Private Event Buy-Out. The amount of this Rental Fee is (partially) determined by previous sales figures, and may therefore vary based on the specific day and time chosen. For instance, Buy-Outs scheduled earlier in the week will generally tend to be cheaper than those scheduled later in the week (Weekends are a premium). During any nationally recognized holidays, or holiday seasons, and during locally recognized festivals or other special events, Rental Fees will also be higher than on dates where nothing out of the ordinary is happening. It is important to understand that these Rental Fees can range anywhere from several thousand dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars. All Rental Fees will be due and payable at least 5 business days in advance of any scheduled Buy-Out event in order to officially reserve the date. An Agreement will also need to have been signed by that time.
● FOOD & BEVERAGE FEE
Food and beverage purchases will be an additional charge (to the Buy-Out Rental Fee), and will be billed separately at the end of any scheduled Buy-Out event. This amount will simply be a reflection of the actual orders (for food and/or drinks) placed by invited guests. Standard “guest checks” will be maintained by the Service Staff for the duration of the event, utilizing our POS system, for verification purposes. The total purchases will be tallied at the end of the event, and the total amount due will be immediately payable via cash or a single credit card.
SALES GUARANTEE: A “Food & Beverage Sales Guarantee” amount will be determined based on the number of guests scheduled to attend. If the actual total dollar amount of food and beverage sales throughout the event does not meet or exceed the Food & Beverage Sales Guarantee amount, then the “guarantee” amount will be charged. A final guest count will be taken by security as guests enter the premises, and the “Food & Beverage Sales Guarantee” amount may be adjusted, based on actual attendance figures.
● SERVICE STAFF GRATUITY
A full Service Staff (including an appropriate number of servers and bartenders) will be provided for the Private Event Buy-Out. Payment of these staff members will be included in the Buy-Out Rental Fee. An additional 20% gratuity (based on the total sales, or guarantee amount) will also be added to the final food and beverage bill, which will go directly to the Service Staff. Additional gratuity is always suggested, but not required.
● KITCHEN STAFF
A full Kitchen Staff (including an appropriate number of cooks, food runners, busboys and dishwashers), will be provided for the Buy-Out event. Payment of these staff members will be included in the Buy-Out Rental Fee.
● EVENT MANAGEMENT
An appropriate number of Security Guards will be provided (to admit and monitor guests and to maintain safety) throughout the Buy-Out event. A Manager will also be scheduled to act as the contact person during the event. Payment of these staff members will be included in the Buy-Out Rental Fee.
NOTICE: Just because a customer has organized (and financed) a Private Event Buy-Out does not give their guest(s) authority or permission to act inappropriately. All company policies shall remain in place during a Private Event Buy-Out and therefore, any guest acting inappropriately will be removed from the premises.
FOOD & BEVERAGE SERVICE
The Vortex will not allow outside food (or caterers) to be brought onto our premises. There is also no such thing as a “buffet-style” Buy-Out event, because that would be “catering,” and The Vortex does NOT offer catering services. Guests will simply be free to order any food and/or beverage contained within the standard Vortex menus, directly from the provided Service Staff, just like when we’re open to the public.
● NUMBER OF ATTENDEES
In order to determine appropriate staffing for the Buy-Out event, an accurate estimate of the number of attendees must be provided by the Buy-Out event organizer. It is important that this figure be as accurate as possible. This number will also be used to help determine the “Food & Beverage Sales Guarantee” amount. A final guest count will be taken by security as guests enter the premises, and the “Food & Beverage Sales Guarantee” amount may be adjusted, based on actual attendance figures.
If the information listed above hasn’t completely confused you (or scared you away), you can send us the pertinent details of your proposed Buy-Out using the handy digital form below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Be advised, the more “lead-time” you can provide prior to your proposed event, the better.